Norovirus can only be controlled with hand washing says Council
Vomiting and diarrhoea are some of the more unpleasant symptoms of gastro causing norovirus. The current reliance on hand sanitisers contributes little to preventing the spread of this unpleasant illness – the focus should instead be on soap and water handwashing, according to a recent report on the Australian Food Safety Information Council’s (FSIC) website.
Gastro outbreaks across the country seem to be at a very high level at the moment, particularly in childcare facilities. But anywhere where people congregate in numbers provides an opportunity for it to spread, with care homes, hospitals, cruise ships and schools being given as examples.
“A single infected person can easily spread it to many others, especially if they don’t wash their hands properly or prepare food or drink for others while they’re sick”, according to Cathy Moir, the FSIC Chair, who stated that hand washing rather than antibacterial hand rubs were by far the most effective way of controlling the spread.
Hand sanitisers are effective against reducing COVID-19 but have little effect on the spread of norovirus she said.
“To effectively remove Norovirus you must wash your hands using soap, rubbing for 20 seconds and rinsing with running water then drying thoroughly.”
20 seconds washing, 20 seconds drying
The Food Safety News website advocates the frequent washing of hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds followed by a 20 second dry with a disposable paper towel for another 20 seconds. This will, they state, significantly reduce the reduce the risk of contracting norovirus.
This is the only effective way to reduce gastro, according to the article.
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